Ministry of Health Library Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

on 8 July

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Ministry of Health Library
Health Improvement and Innovation Digest

Issue 194 - 4 July 2019

Welcome to the fortnightly Health Improvement and Innovation Digest (formerly the HIIRC digest). The Digest has links to key evidence of interest, with access to new content arranged by topic.

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Have you heard about Grey Matter?

We'd like to introduce you to another newsletter that the Ministry of Health Library prepares.  The Grey Matter newsletter provides monthly access to a selection of recent NGO, Think Tank, and International Government reports related to health. Information is arranged by topic, allowing readers to quickly find their areas of interest.  If you'd like to subscribe to Grey Matter, email

Article access

For articles that aren't open access, contact your DHB library, or organisational or local library for assistance in accessing the full text. If your organisation has a subscription, you may be able to use the icon under full text links in PubMed to access the full article.


Quality Improvement (New Zealand)

Hand Hygiene New Zealand auditing manual (2019 edition)
Published by the Health Quality & Safety Commission, this is a practical ‘how to’ guide to hand hygiene auditing as part of a quality improvement programme. It is primarily intended for inpatient settings such as district health boards and private surgical hospitals.

Kia kōrero Let’s talk advance care planning campaign evaluation
The first public-facing advance care planning (ACP) campaign in New Zealand, Kia kōrero Let’s talk, was launched on 19 February 2019 and ran for six weeks, finishing with the national ACP day on 5 April. The campaign was designed to inspire people to have a conversation with their loved ones and their health care team about what matters to them if they become unwell, to discuss what kind of care they would or wouldn’t want and to write these things down. This publication by the Health Quality & Safety Commission presents the final evaluation of the campaign.

Acceptability of human papillomavirus self-sampling for cervical cancer screening in under-screened Māori and Pasifika women: a pilot study
This pilot study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, aimed to: 1) examine the acceptability of self-sampling among un- and under-screened Māori, Pacific, and Asian women; 2) enquire about the level of comprehension of the instructions for self-sampling devices; 3) develop laboratory methods for processing cobas® Chlamydia trachomatis/Neisseria gonorrhoeae (CT/NG) swabs, Herswab™ and the Delphi Screener™ through the cobas 4800 HPV test; and 4) contribute ethnic-specific data to enhance the design of a national randomised controlled trial of the acceptability of self-sampling.


Disability Sector Quality Improvement (International)

Effect of wearable digital intervention for improving socialization in children with autism spectrum disorder: a randomized clinical trial
Autism behavioral therapy is effective but expensive and difficult to access. While mobile technology–based therapy can alleviate wait-lists and scale for increasing demand, few clinical trials exist to support its use for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) care. The objective of this study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, was to evaluate the efficacy of Superpower Glass, an artificial intelligence–driven wearable behavioral intervention for improving social outcomes of children with ASD.


Shorter Stays In Emergency Departments (International)

A systematic review examining the impact of redirecting low-acuity patients seeking emergency department care: is the juice worth the squeeze?
Diverting patients away from the emergency department (ED) has been proposed as a solution for mitigating overcrowding. This systematic review, published in the Emergency Medicine Journal, examined the impact of interventions designed to either bypass the ED or direct patients to other alternative care after ED presentation.


Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes (International)

Team-based care to improve diabetes management: a community guide meta-analysis
Team-based care (TBC) has been increasingly used to deliver care for patients with chronic conditions, but its effectiveness for managing diabetes has not been systematically assessed. Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, this is the first systematic review to broadly examine the effectiveness of TBC in improving health outcomes of people living with diabetes. This review aims to determine whether TBC works, and how it should be implemented to be most effective.


Primary Health Care (International)

Effect of pedometer-based walking interventions on long-term health outcomes: prospective 4-year follow-up of two randomised controlled trials using routine primary care data
Data are lacking from physical activity (PA) trials with long-term follow-up of both objectively measured PA levels and robust health outcomes. Two primary care 12-week pedometer-based walking interventions in adults and older adults (PACE-UP and PACE-Lift) found sustained objectively measured PA increases at 3 and 4 years, respectively. Published in PLoS Medicine, this study aimed to evaluate trial intervention effects on long-term health outcomes relevant to walking interventions, using routine primary care data.

Probiotics for preventing acute otitis media in children
Acute otitis media (AOM), or acute middle ear infection, is one of the most frequently occurring childhood diseases, and the most common reason given for prescribing antibiotics in this age group. Guidelines often recommend antibiotics as first‐line treatment for severe AOM. However, antibiotics also lead to antibiotic resistance, so preventing episodes of AOM is an urgent priority. Published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the objective of this study was to assess the effects of probiotics to prevent the occurrence and reduce the severity of acute otitis media in children.

Clinical outcomes of community pharmacy services: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Community pharmacy services (CPS) have been shown to be positive in many disease management and patient care programs, but clinical outcomes were followed by process indicators and methodological flaws in previous researches made it difficult to prove the effectiveness of clinical outcomes of CPS. This study, published in Health & Social Care in the Community, attempted to review the clinical outcomes of CPS.


Primary Mental Health (New Zealand)

Men's Sheds: a conceptual exploration of the causal pathways for health and well-being
Men's Sheds have been identified as an effective way to engage men in meaningful activity and gain social support from others. However, links between sheds and health and well-being are not well-documented, and evidence is lacking of the potential causal pathways to health generation. This study, published in Health & Social Care in the Community, aims to develop a plausible empirically based causal theory of how Men's Sheds influence the health and well-being of their participants and to set out future research directions to test this theory.


Primary Mental Health (International)

Factors associated with the identification of child mental health problems in primary care - a systematic review
Although common and often with long-lasting effects, child mental health problems (MHPs) are still under-recognized and under-treated. A better understanding of the factors associated with the identification of MHPs in primary care may improve the recognition of MHPs. The objective of this study, published in the European Journal of General Practice, was to review studies on factors associated with the identification of child MHPs in primary care

Diagnosing and managing work-related mental health conditions in general practice: new Australian clinical practice guidelines
Published in the Medical Journal of Australia, this guideline, approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council and endorsed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, is the first internationally to address the clinical complexities associated with diagnosing and managing work-related mental health conditions (MHCs) in general practice.

The effectiveness of positive mental health programs in adults: a systematic review
The aim of this systematic review, published in Health & Social Care in the Community, was to identify, appraise and synthesize the best evidence for the effectiveness of programmes of positive mental health in adults. 


Better Help for Smokers to Quit (International)

Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking - a randomised clinical trial
The objective of this study, published in Tobacco Control, was to determine if Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking (AC) was superior to in a randomised clinical trial (RCT).


Weight Management (International)

Frequent nutritional feedback, personalized advice, and behavioral changes: findings from the European Food4Me Internet-Based RCT
This study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, tested the hypothesis that providing personalized nutritional advice and feedback more frequently would promote larger, more appropriate, and sustained changes in dietary behavior as well as greater reduction in adiposity.


Childhood Obesity (New Zealand)

Infant food security in New Zealand: a multidimensional index developed from cohort data
Food security (FS) during infancy is associated with lifelong outcomes. New Zealand is a developed economy that reports poor childhood nutrition-related health statistics, particularly among minority children, yet has no measure of FS applicable to infancy. The objective of this study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, was to develop an FS index for New Zealand infants and examine its association with demographic covariates and health outcomes.


Key Ministry of Health Publications

Strategy to Prevent and Minimise Gambling Harm 2019/20-2021/22
The strategy sets out the Ministry’s approach to and budget for funding and coordinating services to prevent and minimise gambling harm during the three year period starting 1 July 2019. The strategy was developed following a comprehensive consultation process with groups and individuals that included people with experience of gambling harm, problem gambling harm service providers, the gambling industry and other stakeholders with an interest in gambling harm. The activities included in the strategy comprise public health services, intervention and support services, research, evaluation and workforce development.

National Syphilis Action Plan
Syphilis has been increasing in New Zealand every year since 2012. We are now also seeing cases of congenital syphilis in New Zealand - a condition that was very rare previously. The Ministry has developed a national syphilis action plan (the action plan) to guide a systematic and coordinated health sector response to stop the increase in syphilis. The action plan was developed in consultation with the wider sexual health community and takes a comprehensive approach to addressing the increase in syphilis, focussing on both prevention and treatment.


The information available on or through this newsletter does not represent Ministry of Health policy. It is intended to provide general information to the health sector and the public, and is not intended to address specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity.


Ministry of Health - Manatū Hauora
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Wellington, 6011
New Zealand

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